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5 Places on Pearl Street Mall for a Quick Work Break

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The end of summer stretching into early fall is an ideal time to explore all Pearl Street Mall offers. The pedestrian mall, between 11th and 15th Streets, was designated the “Downtown Boulder Mall” on August 6, 1977, prohibiting cars on these blocks. For more history about why and how the Pearl Street Mall came to be (and to get jealous about the price one of the mall’s designers paid for his Boulder home almost 45 years ago), check out this interview with urban designer Richard Foy

The City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Department plants thousands of flowers on the Pearl Street Mall every spring and summer, importing 15,000 tulip bulbs from Holland and planting more than 6,000 annuals for a varied mix throughout the season. It’s just begging you to leave your work behind for a quick break and wander around. Besides, taking a break from work increases productivity and creativity, so it’s a no-brainer. 

Following are five more reasons to take a work break and walk along Pearl Street.

Boulder Book Store 

1107 Pearl Street 

Mon-Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 11am-7pm

Opened in 1973, Boulder Bookstore is Boulder’s largest independent bookstore featuring over 100,000 new and used books. Even if you don’t have a whole afternoon to leisurely browse, you’re still in luck; just inside the front door are plenty of areas to pique anyone’s interest. 

The entry has a sign with upcoming author book readings, lectures, and open-mic poetry. Then wander just a few steps to feast your eyes on the Boulder Book Store Best Sellers wall, which always has some interesting choices because, well, it’s Boulder comprised of Boulderites. The next not-to-be-missed section is the staff recommendations; these bibliophiles are not to be trifled with. There are so many exciting places to check out on the first floor alone, but alas, there’s not enough time during a short work break. But it wouldn’t be fair not to mention the chocolate selection by the registers. It’s divine and interesting and irresistible and just the thing you’ll want as you head back to the office.


1235 Pearl Street

Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm 

Reflecting the true spirit of Boulder, Peppercorn has remained independently owned and operated since opening its doors over thirty-five years ago. Their unique kitchen gadgets, gourmet and imported foods, cookbooks, spices, candy, and much, much more will have you wandering the store for your entire break and maybe your lunch hour, too. This is a unique stop for your cooking, entertaining, dining, and work-break browsing needs. The tremendous variety combined with artistic displays has earned Peppercorn the nickname “the Smithsonian of Cook Stores”. So many kitchen gadgets and cookbooks to look at, so little break time.

OZO Coffee

1521 Pearl St. and 1015 Pearl Street 

Sun-Thurs 7am-5pm, Fri & Sat 7am-6 pm

Founded in 2007, OZO became so popular that they now have five coffee shops, including a roastery cafe at their roasting facility. With two locations bookmarking the pedestrian mall, OZO Coffee is right there no matter which way you wander. Although neither of the two locations is technically on the pedestrian mall, they are within a block of the mall in hip and pedestrian mall-ish locations, if you will. “Close enough for rock-n-roll”, as my old piano tuner used to say. 

OZO fits the Boulder vibe by being sustainable and community oriented. They are committed to sourcing ethically and sustainably grown coffees worldwide with many organic, fair trade, and Rainforest Alliance-certified beans. They also use compostable and recyclable packaging materials, a great way to avoid the Boulder side-eye. 

And if coffee isn’t your cup of tea… 

KuCha House of Tea

1211 Pearl Street

Mon-Sun 10am-8 pm, Sun 11am-6pm

Three words for you: Blueberry Lavender Bliss. It’s a soothing black tea blend of sweet blueberry, floral lavender, rich cocoa, and ginger spiciness served hot or on the rocks. If that doesn’t get you out of the office for a quick break, you must have fallen asleep on the job! 

In Chinese, “ku” means bitter, and “cha” means tea. Why, you ask, did they include the word “bitter” in their store name? Do they sell bitter tea? They believe that only after enduring bitterness does sweetness achieve its full glory. Who doesn’t love a splash philosophy with their boba tea?

Ku Cha House of Tea carries over 100 tea varieties from around the world, including premium whole-leaf teas, to-go beverages, boba, matcha drinks, and tea accessories. You’ll never take the Nestea Plunge again after experiencing KuCha House of Tea!

Into The Wind

1408 Pearl Street

Sun-Thu 10am-6pm, Fri & Sat 10am-8pm

Into the Wind took flight 43 years ago and has been adding joy to the lives of Boulderites ever since. Enjoy browsing the kites, stunt kites (who knew?!), wind art, retro toys, games, science kits, and books, to name several gleeful merch categories in this upbeat store. There’s something for everyone, regardless of age or kite flying abilities.  

Bet you didn’t know professional kiting was a thing. It is, and John Barresi, a professional kite flier (that’s right, he gets paid to do this!) and kite designer for Into The Wind, is just such a pro. A fun little tidbit of info for you to ponder as you wait for your next work break. 

Now, get back to work…or take a break and stroll on Pearl Street Mall.

Premier Downtown Boulder Offices

Looking to rent a private or a shared office that is in the midst of all that Pearl Street Mall has to offer? Office Partners on Pearl is here for you! Check out our availability here.